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Packard27
Senior Contributor

Reclamation of a farmstead: Three questions

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Hypothetical problem: Suppose you have a 100 year old farmhouse, an adjacent building, and a dozen mature trees sitting on a 13 acre estate. In Iowa terms, the land beneath it all is considered high quality farmland (i.e. >88 CSR2). Suppose also that a buyer now wishes to purchase the land  in order to return it to pure farmland.

So, 1) how do you go about estimating the cost of doing such a reclamation? 2) Is such a project even worth doing? And 3) who in a local community, if anyone, do such things?

Thanks,

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rsbs
Veteran Advisor

Re: Reclamation of a farmstead: Three questions

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Packard, find the busiest guy with an excavator, and get a bid and get on his schedule. They can dig a big hole and bury everything in short order, and it will not be as much as you think.

Why the busiest guy? Cause there is a reason why that guy is so busy.

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rsbs
Veteran Advisor

Re: Reclamation of a farmstead: Three questions

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Packard, find the busiest guy with an excavator, and get a bid and get on his schedule. They can dig a big hole and bury everything in short order, and it will not be as much as you think.

Why the busiest guy? Cause there is a reason why that guy is so busy.

View solution in original post

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Packard27
Senior Contributor

Re: Reclamation of a farmstead: Three questions

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Thanks RS,

I’ve seen this sort of thing done with a suburban swimming pool/garage before, so it makes good sense.

Thanks again

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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: Reclamation of a farmstead: Three questions

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In western ks there is allowed a controlled burn.....    A doser digs a trench pretty well to say 10 ft.... then pushes trees and all in.  Fire in the pit for a couple of days and bury the ashes and nails.  Problem is we are allowed for agricultural purposes but not allowed to burn trash or at a land fill.  

So if you do the pC thing --- chop it all up and deliver it to a land fill,--- freight, fees, labor will balloon the costs.

Here I go to the "county" fire Marshal( not an urban one). Offer to donate the buildings as a training location.  He will say no because they like to go up state or down state for training.  Let him know you would like to dig a pit and burn so you can bury the remains like nails etc deep.  Here they will approve as long as they have notice of it.

Some areas are so modern they don't understand natures use of fire is a good thing in some cases.

The problem with just digging a hole and burying it (or several holes)--- is the trees and bulk will slowly decompose and the ground will settle..... sometimes a lot.

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k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: Reclamation of a farmstead: Three questions

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Check  the  price  of  lumber  -  Smiley LOL

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Packard27
Senior Contributor

Re: Reclamation of a farmstead: Three questions

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Okay, I'll bite. Why?

Is there a market for 100 year old reclaimed house timbers?

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Packard27
Senior Contributor

Re: Reclamation of a farmstead: Three questions

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SW,

Good points. Thanks!

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lsc76cat
Veteran Advisor

Re: Reclamation of a farmstead: Three questions

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Packard - depends on the type of wood.  Some of the old "distressed" hardwood is nearly priceless.

Our "turn of the last century" house has quite a bit of full dimension lumber in it.

During one remodeling project we removed a section of exterior wall to expand the kitchen.

The wall studs were made of red elm and our son turned them into a table.

Couple people have tried to buy it but he won't part with it.

 

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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: Reclamation of a farmstead: Three questions

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Oh it s an alert..... Packard...... this is one of those deals we face coming from different locations.... 

Isc76cat is right as usual..... We have a well liked implement dealer that built a wonderfully designed dealership.... I should say "they" did, with some very well placed barn wood decor.

I live in a place where the earliest homesteaders established just before a depression, went to war, and came home to better years.  The farms established after the 1950's were built well..... But the old homesteads we are cleaning up were dugouts and shacks compared to the older homes and barns in the corn belt.   

I should have noted that with my comments.  And when I note burying a tree or several......... well the wind(and drought) doesn't let trees reach anything near the structure of the trees in Iowa.   Settlers here planted Chinese elms and hoped they could keep them alive.

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